ILF Consulting Engineers
Issue 01 2013
Since its establishment in the late 1960s, ILF Consulting Engineers has delivered an increasingly diverse range of engineering services to clients located throughout the world.
Today it is a group of independent international companies helping clients in the oil and gas, water and environment, energy and climate protection, and transport and building sectors to achieve high quality construction projects. Its main offices are in Munich, Germany, and the Austrian city of Innsbruck. From these it co-ordinates more than 30 further branches across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America.
ILF’s German main office deals primarily with the oil and gas industry, where it has handled projects ranging from offshore oil platforms to underground gas storage facilities. Between 2003 and 2006, for example, the company was part of a project to construct a gas storage plant in Epe, Germany, for client Essent Energy including aboveground installations, four storage caverns, flow lines, and a connecting line to a Dutch pipeline system. In this case ILF was responsible for project design, tendering, procurement, project management, construction supervision, start-up, and documentation.
As director, process engineering, Rolf Szczepanek points out, this range of responsibilities is just part of ILF’s capabilities: “We are capable of doing all engineering works, beginning with concept studies through to basic engineering. ILF will carry out the detailed engineering, site supervision services, and commissioning duties required to ensure the plant is put into operation. We can do more or less everything from start to end except the operation of the plant itself. One of our biggest advantages is that we have all engineering disciplines – from civil to process engineering, mechanical engineering to safety engineering features – located in-house. This has been important when winning projects with major clients such as CNPC, ExxonMobil, GASUNIE, Open Grid Europe, OMV, SINOPEC, TNK-BP and Transneft.”
ILF has particularly extensive experience in the design and construction of gas storage plants, Epe being just one example. Others include major facilities at Etzel, Germany, and Puchkirchen, Austria. Apart from its encompassing engineering abilities, clients choose ILF because the company understands gas storage facilities and how to design the best system for the relevant application. The Epe facility, for example, is a peak load facility that requires fast switching times to meet hourly changes in usage, whilst the Puchkirchen plant is for seasonal storage and has large capacities to meet changing demands throughout the year as well as emergency situations. ILF understands what it takes to meet both requirements.
Its experience in onshore and offshore pipeline services is equally extensive and recently won ILF a contract on TANAP, the Trans-Anatolian gas system. “In November 2012 we received the job to carry out engineering and project management services on TANAP,” says Rolf. “We are proud because this is one of the biggest pipe system projects in the world at present. TANAP is a 56-inch pipe running 900 kilometres, with ten to 11 compressor stations along its length. Such a large system is a major victory for us.”
Other work ILF has consulted and project managed includes upstream facilities such as injection stations, processing plants, and compressor stations; tank farms for crude and refined oil; loading/unloading terminals; and onshore refineries and petrochemical processing plants. It even possesses a joint venture named Compact EPC together with a partner, which is dedicated to delivering efficient EPC services on pipeline systems and terminals. It was set up in 2006 and has proved very successful during the last six years. At present it is working on a compressor station in Denmark comprising four 6 MW compressor units.
Its broad scope of skills has helped ensure the company a steady stream of jobs and therefore a healthy order book during recent years. “Looking back at the last four to five years there has been big growth in our marketplaces, with several projects starting and providing a lot of work,” Rolf explains. “The last two years have seen a drop in gas prices and, because of this, the gas storage business has reduced, but we are still seeing plants built for strategic reasons. North Stream, for example, will need several storage facilities. The general situation in Germany at present is stable – but in Eastern Europe there is much more activity. Many countries are establishing gas storage facilities for security of supply and we hope to become involved with some of these.”
ILF’s ambition for the future is to become one of the engineering sector’s major players. Its history of projects and success provides it the credentials for achieving this, but the company will focus on defining these qualifications to gain a wider selection of business to achieve top-flight status. “Our ultimate goal is to be one of the major players and a quality leader in the engineering sectors that we serve,” Rolf confirms. “We already have a lot of business within oil and gas but we want more throughout all sectors, from upstream to pipelines, gas storage to terminals. That is the ambition of ILF.”
ILF Consulting Engineers
Services: Design and construction consultancy